1 Corinthians 1:30–31
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
It is Jesus, His wisdom in your life, His righteousness and His perfect redemptive work on the cross that make you a success. So when you boast of your success, you can boast only in Jesus. Without Jesus, you have nothing to boast about. But with Jesus in your life, you can boast in Him and Him alone for every success and blessing that comes through His unmerited favor. If you are strong, mighty and wise in yourself, then God’s unmerited favor cannot flow. But when you realize your weaknesses and foolishness, and depend on Jesus instead, that is when His unmerited favor can flow unhindered in your life.
We see this in the story of Moses. In his first 40 years as an Egyptian prince who was looked up to and admired, he thought that he knew everything. The Bible says that in this first 40 years, Moses was “mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22), but God could not use him. However, in the next 40 years, something happened to Moses. He had fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, and went to dwell in the Midian desert. He became a shepherd and was no longer considered mighty in words nor deeds. Indeed, he had even become a stutterer (Exodus 4:10). And at this point in his life, when he probably thought that he was a has-been, insignificant compared to what he had been, and that his glory-days were behind him, God appeared to him and said, “I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people…out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10).
Forty years earlier, at the zenith of his ability, Moses could not even bury properly one Egyptian whom he had killed—he was found out and forced to flee (Exodus 2:11–15). But now, stripped of his dependence on his human strength and mindful of his weaknesses, he stepped into his call, dependent solely on the unmerited favor of God. And this time, when Moses waved his rod over the sea, the sea covered tens of thousands of Egyptians perfectly (Exodus 14:26–28).
The Bible tells us that “God resists the proud, but gives grace [unmerited favor] to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). God will not impose His unmerited favor on us. Whenever we want to depend on ourselves and our wisdom, He will allow us to do so. His unmerited favor is given to those who humbly acknowledge that they cannot succeed in their own strength and ability. When we let go and depend on His unmerited favor, He will take over and do for us what we cannot do for ourselves!